Tuesday marks the 2nd anniversary of the massacre of 52 Iranian dissidents by Iraqi security forces loyal to then Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a known puppet of the Iranian regime. These 52 refugees were all members of the main Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) and a further 7 other camp residents – including 6 women – were abducted as hostages.
On 1 September 2013 the Iraqi security forces under direct orders from Maliki attacked the unarmed and defenseless Camp Ashraf residents.
The unprovoked attack on the group of refugees drew widespread condemnation from international lawmakers, human rights organizations and religious personalities. But unfortunately, the efforts stopped their and no one in Iraq has been held accountable ever since.
Other Iranian dissidents in Iraq’s Camp Liberty, a ransacked former US military camp near Baghdad International Airport, and their families and supporters around the world launched a hunger strike – in some cases lasting for 108 days – demanding accountability for the criminals involved and safety guarantees for Iranian refugees in Iraq. None have been accomplished to this day.
There was also a major international campaign to compel the U.S. government and the United Nations to live up to their legal and moral responsibility to protect the Iranian refugees in Iraq and compel the Iraqi government to have the seven hostages released immediately.
These Iranian refugees have been recognized as ‘Protected Persons’ under the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Iraqi Parliament had already called on the Government to respect the rights of Iranian refugees in Iraq and to refrain from their expulsion or forcible displacement within Iraq and to put an end to the siege imposed on them elements in the Iraqi government loyal to the Iranian regime.
As no actions were taken under Maliki’s watch, the Iraqi army and Shiite militia groups backed by the Iranian regime have carried out five other deadly massacres and rocket attacks on camps Ashraf and Liberty.
Currently the residents of Camp Liberty are demanding action by the international community to provide the security and protection they were guaranteed. Furthermore, the families of those killed in the September 2013 massacre were never able to say farewell to their loved ones as the Iraqi government secretly buried them in violation of all humane and Islamic rituals.
After two years, enough is enough. The Iranian regime proxies in Iraq must be hold accountable for all their crimes, and this first and foremost includes Nouri al-Maliki who ordered the attacks on Iranian refugees.